Struggles shooting from perimeter lead to Hawks suffering third consecutive loss


Quincy University's Paul Zilinskas looks to attack the basket during Thursday's Great Lakes Valley Conference game against McKendree in Lebanon, Ill. | Photo courtesy Max Bennett, QU Athletics

LEBANON, Ill. — It’s a fact as immutable as gravity — the ball must go through the hoop to win.

Right now, the Quincy University men’s basketball team is struggling with that, at least from beyond the 3-point stripe.

The Hawks shot just 6.7 percent from 3-point range Thursday night, making only 1 of 15 attempts in what proved to be too much of a drought to overcome in a 66-62 loss to McKendree in Great Lakes Valley Conference play at the Harry Statham Sports Center.

In winning six consecutive games and 7 of 8 contests overall from Dec. 10-Jan. 16, the Hawks made 64 3-pointers and shot 36.2 percent. In the three games since — all losses — Quincy has made 11 3-pointers and shot 18.6 percent.

They were 4 of 24 from 3-point range in an 11-point loss at Missouri-St. Louis and 6 of 20 in a seven-point loss to Missouri S&T. Quincy is now shooting 34 percent from 3-point range overall, ranking 12th in the 13-team GLVC.

Making matters worse, the Hawks (11-9, 7-5 GLVC) were forced to play from behind the final three minutes of regulation after an unfortunate technical foul was called on Quincy junior guard Paul Zilinskas.

With 3:38 remaining in regulation, Zilinskas scored at the rim to give the Hawks a 56-52 lead. He was immediately hit with a technical foul for something he said after making the field goal. McKendree (9-9, 5-6 GLVC) took advantage with Milos Vicentic making both free throws and Caleb Zurliene scoring on the ensuing possession to tie the game.

After a turnover by the Hawks, Vincentic buried a 3-pointer for a 59-56 lead as the Bearcats scored seven points in less than a minute.

Quincy never led again.

An Eric Powell 3-pointer from the corner in front of the McKendree bench gave the Bearcats a four-point lead with 58 seconds remaining, and the Hawks made a stop on only one of the Bearcats’ final six possessions of regulation.

Malik Hardmon led the Hawks with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Zilinskas had 15 points. Quincy finished with just five assists and was outrebounded 41-30. Zurliene led four Bearcats in double figures with 14 points.

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